This year has been brutal. This weekend, let's drink to forget. We've got free New Year's Eve parties, free music shows, and, for those who don't need to blast their liver this weekend (or for between sessions) there are ice skating rinks and other fun. Come take a look.
Free public skating rink with a warming house and complimentary skate rental. Daily from Nov. 23-March 31. Free. Loring Park, 1382 Willow St., Minneapolis.
Boom Boom Steve V & the Knock-Outs
Dec. 30, 9 p.m. Free. Schooner Tavern, 2901 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-729-4365.
Jazz in the Lobby Bar
Featuring JoAnn Funk on piano with Jeff Brueske on bass. Every Fri. and Sat. from Nov. 4, 7-11 p.m. Free. St. Paul Hotel, 350 Market St., St. Paul; 800-292-9292.
Dec. 30, 6:30 p.m. Free. Vieux Carre, 408 St. Peter St., St. Paul; 612-332-5299.
Outdoor Ice Rink
Free ice skating during mall hours through February 19. Daily from Nov. 19-Feb. 19. Free. Southdale Center, 10 Southdale Center, Edina; 952-925-7874.
Party Monster Fridays
Upbeat dance music in a Gothic horror themed venue, with drink specials, and free cover if in costume. Every Fri. from June 10, 10 p.m.-2 a.m. $5; free if in costume. Ground Zero Nightclub, 15 4th St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-378-5115.
The Comedy Corner Open Mic Night
Every Fri. 10 p.m. Free. The Corner Bar, 1501 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-339-4333.
Wells Fargo Winter Skate
This season, downtown St. Paul is turning into a winter wonderland, full of simple pleasures like twinkling lights and a giant rink open to all. Now through the end of the Saint Paul Winter Carnival, Rice Park will be illuminated each night with a flurry of festive lights strung from tall trees. Meanwhile, over by the Landmark Center, guests will take to the ice, where the rink will welcome casual skaters and hockey teams who reserve a time. Take a date or your family. Bring your own skates, borrow them for free if you bank at Wells Fargo, or pay $4 to rent a pair. For more info, visit www.visitsaintpaul.com. Daily from Nov. 19-Feb. 28. Free. Landmark Center, 75 W. 5th St., St. Paul; 651-292-3293.
Willie Walker and the We R
Dec. 30, 7:30 p.m. Free. Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, 6161 Hwy. 65 NE, Minneapolis; 763-571-9020.
See Ya Never, 2016
Drink beer and be chill at this party. 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Fair State Brewing Cooperative, 2506 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-444-3209.
612Brew's New Year's Eve
Masquerade party with DJ Daniel Berube and free toast at midnight. Dec. 31, 9 p.m. Free. 612 Brew, 945 Broadway St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-217-0437.
A Tribute to Sinatra
Featuring the JoAnn Funk Trio and vocalist Steven Marking. Dec. 31, 8 p.m. Free. St. Paul Hotel, 350 Market St., St. Paul; 800-292-9292.
Back Alley New Year's Eve Party
Dec. 31, 9 p.m. Free. Schooner Tavern, 2901 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-729-4365.
Family Friendly New Year's Eve Celebration at Afton Alps
Featuring lifts open until midnight, hillside fireworks, bonfire, food specials, and live music from Audio Circus. Dec. 31, 9:30-12 a.m. Events are free; lift rates $48-$53. Afton Alps, 6600 Peller Ave. S., Hastings; 651-436-5245.
Hey, That's My Jam: NYE Dance Party
Featuring Hey There Handsome vs. Slow Moe. Dec. 31, 10 p.m. Free. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-331-1746.
New Year's Eve Celebration
Countdown to 2017 hosted by Mario Lopez, featuring live entertainment by Ray Evangelista, DeeJay St. Joel, and the Mystic Dancers, with midnight champagne toast and free hats and beads. Dec. 31, 7 p.m. Free. Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd., Prior Lake; 800-262-7799.
New Year's Eve Rock 'n' Roll Benefit Show
Featuring Nato Coles & the Blue Diamond Band, Private Interests, 83 Wolfpack, Charlie Siren, Intrepid Hearts, and Granite. Dec. 31, 8 p.m. Free. Hexagon Bar, 2600 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-722-3454.
Boy Kisses Comedy Showcase
7:30 p.m. Free. Universe Games, 711 W. Lake St., Minneapolis; 612-825-4066.
Kill It! Comedy Open Mic
Every last Sun., 7 p.m. Free. Hexagon Bar, 2600 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-722-3454.